There was a time, just a few years ago, where it seemed like the usefulness for rebellious music was on the decline. Not that everything was right in the world but it felt like things were in motion to set the world in the right direction. Acceptance, tolerance, and celebration of diversity were the name of the game. Archaic laws were getting overturned one by one and the general ethos of the western world was evolving beyond its fearful past. From the perches of liberalism, particularly outside of the U.S., we thought we were moving towards a more inclusive society. It seemed like the fundamental need for punk rock that set ablaze conservative norms was a thing of the past and it would remain as just a salute to the barriers we had to break down in the past. Well....we were wrong. The backlash hit hard. In our coastal metropolises, we started to hear these ripples of intolerance bubble up. Xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia. Open-mindedness phobia. However, in small town America, those things never really went away.

Punk rock purveyors, ButchQueen & The Bad Habits are an explosion of snarling anti-conservatism in their reactionary, right-wing home of Lakeland, Florida. The gang of Fredi X., D. Licious, Nolan Nada, Hell Nada and Skeebo fly their freak flag proudly on their latest EP Bare Grits. Clocking in at under 12 minutes, the band comes in hard, says what they gotta say and gets out, leaving the listener exposed, educated and ravaged.

Although the album has punk rock at its core, the record strays into other arenas with some Iron Maiden style soloing, dirty bar blues rock and even Ween-esque sardonic cadences. The opener 'Mindless Dull American Null' is the straight ahead, balls to the wall, classic punk decrying the vapidness of American society. The title track that follows meets its chugging muted guitars with squealing leads. The lurid descriptions of moistened lips tease the brain but in a lightning fast 1:24 its all over and you're left wondering what happened. 'Devil Standing By' has a bouncing rebel country vibe while 'No Matter What They Say' is wonderfully noisy. 'Whole World is Watching Me Blues' is probably the most poignant track on the record. The glam-tinged, bar room shuffle underscores lyrics that perfectly sum up this Camera-Eye age. Bare Grits definitely spits in the face of conformity. Five speedy ditties to show Americ that the progressive wave may slow from time to time but you can't stop the tide.

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